Altar Cavity
Altar Cavity
A small square or oblong chamber in the body of the altar, in which are placed the relics of two canonized martyrs

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Altar Cavity
    Altar Cavity
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Altar Cavity
    This is a small square or oblong chamber in the body of the altar, in which are placed, according to the "Pontificale Romanum" (De Eccles. Consecratione) the Relics of two canonized martyrs although the Cong. Sac. Rit. (16 February, l906) decided that if the relic of only one martyr is placed in it the consecration is valid, to these may be properly added the Relics of other saints, especially of those in whose honour the church of the altar is consecrated. These Relics must be actual portions of the saints' bodies, not simply of their garments or of other objects which they may have used or touched; the Relics must, moreover be authenticated. If the altar is a fixed or immovable altar, the Relics are placed in a reliquary of lead, silver, or gold, which should be large enough to contain, besides the Relics, three grains of incense and a small piece of parchment on which is written an attest of the consecration. This parchment is usually enclosed in a crystal vessel or small vial, to prevent its decomposition. The size of the cavity varies to suit the size of the reliquary. If it is a portable altar the Relics and the grains of incense are placed immediately, i.e. without a reliquary, into the cavity. This cavity must be hewn in the natural stone of the altar. Hence, unless the altar be a single block of stone, a block of natural stone is inserted for the purpose in the support. The location of the cavity in a fixed altar is
    ♦ either at the front or back of the altar, midway between its table and foot;
    ♦ in the table (mensa) at its centre, near the front edge;
    ♦ in the centre, on the top of the base or support if the latter be a solid mass. If the first or the second location is selected, a slab or cover of stone, to fit exactly upon the opening, and for this reason somewhat bevelled at the corners, must be provided. The cover should have a cross engraved on the upper and nether sides. If the third location is chosen the table (mensa) itself serves as the cover. In a portable altar the cavity is usually made on the top of the stone near the front edge, although it may be made in the centre of the stone. This cavity is called, in the language of the Church, the sepulchrum.
    A.J. SCHULTE
    Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Altar (in Liturgy) — • In the New Law the altar is the table on which the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Altar (in Liturgy)     Altar (in Liturgy) …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Altar (Catholicism) — High altar of St. Michael s Church, Munich. In the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, the altar is where the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. Mass may sometimes be celebrated outside a sacred place, but never without an altar, or at least an… …   Wikipedia

  • Cavity, Altar — • A small square or oblong chamber in the body of the altar, in which are placed the relics of two canonized martyrs Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Altar stone — In Roman Catholic Churches, an altar stone is a solid piece of natural stone, consecrated by a bishop. [CathEncy|wstitle=Altar Stone] Before the Second Vatican Council, Mass could only lawfully be celebrated on a properly consecrated altar. This… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Christian Altar —     History of the Christian Altar     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► History of the Christian Altar      The Christian altar consists of an elevated surface, tabular in form, on which the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. The earliest Scripture… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Malia altar stone — The Malia altar stone is a stone slab bearing an inscription in Cretan hieroglyphs, excavated in Malia, Crete. The stone has a cuplike cavity and is thought to be a Minoan altar stone. Of the 16 glyphs of the inscription, three occur twice each.… …   Wikipedia

  • Consecration — • An act by which a thing is separated from a common and profane to a sacred use, or by which a person or thing is dedicated to the service and worship of God by prayers, rites, and ceremonies Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Dedication — For other uses, see Dedication (disambiguation). Dedication is the act of consecrating an altar, temple, church or other sacred building. It also refers to the inscription of books or other artifacts when these are specifically addressed or… …   Wikipedia

  • Temple of Jerusalem — • In the Bible the sanctuary of Jerusalem bears the Hebrew name of Bet Yehovah (house of Jehovah) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Temple of Jerusalem     Temple of Jerusalem …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ixcateopan de Cuauhtémoc — Ichcateopan   Town Municipality   Monument to Cuauhtémoc in a plaza in the town …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”